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Hilary S.

Clifton Park, NY

$40/hr

Tutor Makes Learning a Fun, Successful Experience

Background check passed as of 7/19/11
Usually responds in about 7 hours

Tutor Makes Learning a Fun, Successful Experience

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As a retired Special Education teacher, I have worked with students of all ages and abilities. I am an expert at breaking tasks down into small, attainable steps, instructing the student on how to master each step, and then practicing the entire task. My students achieved a high level of success with this approach.

I have had experience using the Wilson Reading Program, which is a phonics-based way of learning to read and spell. First the students learn to distinguish the sounds contained in one-syllable words; then they learn the sounds and the corresponding alphabet letter. Learning to spell by sounds at the same time they are learning to read produces great ability to sound out new words and to spell words heard orally. Best of all, the program is designed to be used for students of all ages!

In teaching mathematics, I have worked closely with the second-grade math curriculum and also the ninth-grade one. I use fun, creative methods whenever necessary to get the concept across. My students have especially enjoyed using a game-show format to learn the necessary material.

I have tutored many students who were not diagnosed as needing Special Education. With one boy who had difficulty learning his weekly spelling words, I practiced the words in several ways. His favorite was reversing roles so that he was the teacher and I took the spelling test, making numerous mistakes. He corrected the test and got to write comments like, "Have parent sign," which he took great delight in. Boosting self-esteem is something I've always been concerned with.

Testimonials

"Skilled and methodical."

- Jacqueline, Schenectady, NY on 3/2/13

"Very Patient and Great Tutor"

- Amy, Mechanicville, NY on 9/10/14

"Just what we needed."

- Claire, Clifton Park, NY on 4/25/13

"Punctual and Professional"

- Sharon, Waterford, NY on 3/2/12
Hilary replied on 3/5/2012

I disagree that my teaching style is rigid. Other clients say that I'm creative, and I try everything I can to motivate and make progress with the student. In this case, this child's complete lack of motivation (even when offered rewards and praise) was detrimental to his progress. I tried using colored markers, used plastic stick-on letters, got him a special "grown up" fat pencil (for writing), alternated tasks to avoid boredom, read stories by my reading every other word, and more.

"Very creative"

- Jeannette, Albany, NY on 2/12/12

"Great tutor in every way- if you need help she is the one, very patient and personable!"

- STEPHEN, Albany, NY on 10/11/11
English:
Reading,
Writing
Elementary Education:
Phonics,
Reading,
Spelling
Homeschool:
Reading,
Writing

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ADD/ADHD

As a Special Education teacher with over 20 years of experience, I have learned and utilized techniques which are successful in teaching ADD/ADHD. I use behavior modification techniques to encourage staying on task. After breaking up the task into small segments, I reward the student for completing each one. Then I gradually withdraw the rewards as the student is able to focus on his or her work for longer periods.

Dyslexia

I have had seven years' experience at teaching children to read using the Wilson Reading Program. The Wilson Program was created specifically for dyslexic students, and is very effective in overcoming their reading difficulties. My students have been very successful in learning to read using this program. Students who do not have dyslexia also benefit greatly when I teach them to read using the Wilson approach.

Phonics

I first learned about a phonetic approach to reading over thirty years ago when I received training in using the "Distar" program. Unlike the sight reading programs that were popular at the time, Distar taught the students the sound that each letter makes as opposed to the letter name, and how to blend sounds into words. Using the Distar program in my classroom of developmentally-delayed teenagers, I found that the program was very effective at helping me to teach word attack skills. I became a firm believer in phonics training, and utilized other methods to teach phonics in addition to the Distar Reading Program.

In the beginning of this decade, I encountered a newer program called The Wilson Reading Program while teaching at a high school. The program had been developed to teach dyslexic students to read, and I found it effective with my developmentally-delayed students as well. Similar to Distar, the Wilson program has the same type of phonetic approach as detailed above. However, it goes beyond the primary-school focus of Distar in that it is age-appropriate for secondary school learners. There is also a newer version that is ideal for primary and elementary school students. First the students master sounding out one-syllable words, then two- and three-syllable words. They not only read sentences, but stories that have no illustrations. Using the Wilson program, I was able to increase some of my students' reading levels by two grade levels or more. I am so familiar with the Wilson approach that I can simulate it with my own tutoring students.

In my enthusiasm about the Wilson program I read a very well-researched book about the process of learning to read. It stressed the importance of training students to hear the sounds in words, and to dissect the words into sounds and put them back together again. The book mentioned the Wilson program as being effective in presenting the author's findings--that the phonetic approach is of more value than any other method of teaching reading.

Reading

Teaching reading really excites me. I love to see students who have struggled with reading attain success! I use the Wilson Reading System, which is phonics based and was created for use with dyslexic students. There are two versions--one for small children and one for older students. The program is very effective for anyone who is having difficulties in reading. I taught Wilson for seven years for a school district, and have tutored using it for several years now.

Special Needs

Most of my twenty-one years teaching Special Education was spent with developmentally-delayed children. Many of them had Down's Syndrome or another type of delay that was present from birth. My firm belief was that the best way I could help these students (whom I adored) was to teach them what they really needed to know. Skills of daily living were my focus--how to read signs, count money, sign a paycheck, cook a simple meal, and keep a home clean. In addition, I developed my students' pre-vocational skills. For a student who could read, speak, and conduct himself appropriately, I would groom him for competitive employment based on his areas of interest. If a student were less academically capable, had difficulty making her needs known, and/or had behavior difficulties, working in a sheltered environment would probably be ahead. Some students were in between, but all had strengths as well as weaknesses. I tried to capitalize on these strengths. One of my students was invited to a non-disabled peer's birthday party; to me his social acceptance was the pinnacle of success!

At other points in my career I worked with students who were labeled emotionally disturbed and those who were labeled learning disabled. Often there was overlap. No matter what the student's needs, I determined what was most important for him to learn (with the help of his parents, of course,) and wrote up long-term and specific goals. I detailed how I was going to help the student reach those goals, and periodically assessed his progress. Small successes were met with hearty praise, which helped to encourage more successes.

I have also worked with adults with special needs. One of the most rewarding things I've done is to teach a class for a school district's Continuing Education department. Each week the class and I would cook or bake a treat together, do an age-appropriate but simple craft, and talk, play games, and have fun. Eventually we began to meet outside of the classroom to go out to dinner or watch a show. One of the students became a special friend whom I was employed to help out at home. She lived in her own apartment, but could not drive. I helped her grocery shop, cook, and do laundry, as well as go on social outings. I even took her to see her favorite rock band, and she danced in the aisles!

State University of New York at Oswego
Elementary Education
State University of New York at Geneseo
Enrolled
State University of New York at Oswego
Enrolled

Education

State University of New York at Oswego (Elementary Education)

State University of New York at Geneseo (Enrolled)

State University of New York at Oswego (Enrolled)

Skilled and methodical. — Hilary knows exactly what to do for a young reader who needs to master word attack skills. She paces instruction according to my child's needs and is clear about what areas are best to target. ...

— Jacqueline, Schenectady, NY on 3/2/13

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00

Travel policy

Hilary will travel within 25 miles of Clifton Park, NY 12065.


About Hilary

As a retired Special Education teacher, I have worked with students of all ages and abilities. I am an expert at breaking tasks down into small, attainable steps, instructing the student on how to master each step, and then practicing the entire task. My students achieved a high level of success with this approach.

I have had experience using the Wilson Reading Program, which is a phonics-based way of learning to read and spell. First the students learn to distinguish the sounds contained in one-syllable words; then they learn the sounds and the corresponding alphabet letter. Learning to spell by sounds at the same time they are learning to read produces great ability to sound out new words and to spell words heard orally. Best of all, the program is designed to be used for students of all ages!

In teaching mathematics, I have worked closely with the second-grade math curriculum and also the ninth-grade one. I use fun, creative methods whenever necessary to get the concept across. My students have especially enjoyed using a game-show format to learn the necessary material.

I have tutored many students who were not diagnosed as needing Special Education. With one boy who had difficulty learning his weekly spelling words, I practiced the words in several ways. His favorite was reversing roles so that he was the teacher and I took the spelling test, making numerous mistakes. He corrected the test and got to write comments like, "Have parent sign," which he took great delight in. Boosting self-esteem is something I've always been concerned with.

Testimonials

"Skilled and methodical."

- Jacqueline, Schenectady, NY on 3/2/13

"Very Patient and Great Tutor"

- Amy, Mechanicville, NY on 9/10/14

"Just what we needed."

- Claire, Clifton Park, NY on 4/25/13

"Punctual and Professional"

- Sharon, Waterford, NY on 3/2/12
Hilary replied on 3/5/2012

I disagree that my teaching style is rigid. Other clients say that I'm creative, and I try everything I can to motivate and make progress with the student. In this case, this child's complete lack of motivation (even when offered rewards and praise) was detrimental to his progress. I tried using colored markers, used plastic stick-on letters, got him a special "grown up" fat pencil (for writing), alternated tasks to avoid boredom, read stories by my reading every other word, and more.

"Very creative"

- Jeannette, Albany, NY on 2/12/12

"Great tutor in every way- if you need help she is the one, very patient and personable!"

- STEPHEN, Albany, NY on 10/11/11
}

Education

State University of New York at Oswego
Elementary Education
State University of New York at Geneseo
Enrolled
State University of New York at Oswego
Enrolled

Education

State University of New York at Oswego (Elementary Education)

State University of New York at Geneseo (Enrolled)

State University of New York at Oswego (Enrolled)


Tutor Policies

Travel Radius
Travels within 25 miles of Clifton Park, NY 12065

Hilary’s Subjects

English:
Reading,
Writing
Elementary Education:
Phonics,
Reading,
Spelling
Homeschool:
Reading,
Writing

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


Background Check Status for Hilary S.

Hilary S. passed a background check on 7/19/11. The check was ordered by Hilary through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Hilary, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.